Science Snippet: Do Men or Women Have a Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s?


Do men and women differ as to Alzheimer’s Disease risk? Data from the Alzheimer Disease Association indicates that women comprise an estimated two-thirds of Americans afflicted with the disorder. By age 65, healthy women have a greater than a one in six chance of developing the disease, while men of a similar age range have a one in 11 chance. To date, scientists do not know why this difference exists. Can computer use affect your chances of developing Alzheimer’s Disease? A group of healthy seniors aged 70-98 years had their brains scanned, after which their computer use was monitored during a one-month period. All participants were adept with computers. At the end their brains were scanned again, and those seniors who spent the most time working with a computer had a larger hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory. These individuals also scored higher on cognitive thinking tests than those who spent little time on the computer. (Mind, Mood, & Memory, a publication of Mass. General Hospital, vol. 12, August 16, 2016)

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